Activists Confront Water Board, Education Commission Expands After School Bus Service

Building tension over water shutoffs emerged as activists from Hydrate Detroit confronted the Board of Water Commissioners last week.

Detroit Water Manhole Cover

Photo Credit: Bre'Anna Tinsley, WDET

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department presented a new pilot program and the Community Education Commission announced an expansion of an after school bus program, according the meeting notes compiled by Detroit Documenters. 

Click on the player above to hear WDET’s Eleanore Catolico round-up this week’s city news.

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City Bureau

Detroit Documenters is a program by 101.9 WDET, CitizenDetroit and Chicago’s City Bureau to pay local residents to attend city meetings and take notes on happenings that often go uncovered. These notes are publicly available on, where you can also find upcoming public meetings in the city. 

Here, WDET Civic Reporter Eleanore Catolico breaks down what you need to know. Scroll down for links to notes from the meetings.  

Pilot Program Helps 70 Customers Avoid Shutoffs, Amid Outrage From Activists 

What happened: Activists from Hydrate Detroit, a nonprofit that offers emergency water delivery and restoration services for Detroiters whose service has been interrupted, expressed outrage during last Wednesday’s Board of Water Commissioners meeting over the latest water shutoff numbers released by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

The Department also presented a pilot program to the board that would assist 70 customers who don’t qualify for the city’s current water assistance programs, according to Detroit Documenters. These customers live in the 48234 zip code, which has had high service interruptions, according to the water department.  

Why this matters: According to an analysis by Bridge Magazine, there were 11,801 total service interruptions as of August 1st with only about 62 percent of those accounts restored. A large number are believed to be occupied.

The department has not adopted a water affordability plan based on income, citing a state Supreme Court ruling

What’s next: The next meeting will be on September 4th at 1:00 pm at the Water Board Building, 735 Randolph St. in Detroit.

View meeting notes and live tweets here.


Detroit’s Community Education Commission Expand After School Bus Program

What happened: The GOAL Line program, a bus service line to take school students to after-school activities, has expanded their service route to four new schools, two from the Detroit Public Schools Community District and two charter schools. 

The routes now include Cornerstone Adams-Young, Palmer Park Prep Academy, Pasteur Elementary and Rutherford Winans Academy, according to Stacey Young, Executive Director of the Community Education Commission. 

There are a total of 14 schools participating in the program. The service route travels in a loop in the northwest corner of the city. Only students who attend these schools can go to the after-school programs or use the bus service.As of last Thursday, there are 226 students enrolled in their enrichment programs and parents have registered 31 students for bus transportation.

The Commission also discussed the release of the A-F accountability grading system, which will be presented at the next board meeting. 

Why this matters: The CEC was formed in 2018 to provide resources for public and charter schools in the city, including a school guide for parents. Their primary task, the creation of an A-F grading system for Detroit schools, has been delayed since last fall. There is a question of how the city-only grading system will match with the statewide A-F grading system, which Michigan Department of Education officials said did not follow federal guidelines established in the Every Student Succeeds Act in March. 

What’s next:  The next board meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 16th at 6:00 pm at the Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Road in Detroit.

View meeting notes and live tweets here.


  • Eleanore Catolico
    Eleanore Catolico is Civic Reporter with 101.9 WDET, covering local affairs with the Detroit Documenters program. She enjoys techno.